Windows Guide

Too early to say that it will die, someone might pick it up. Windows is probably the biggest OS in terms of users in the world. Me personally I hate it. But, I would also hate to have to deal with compatibility issues with programs and stuff, which I know you can avoid using dual booting, where you have multiple OS’s.

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I switched to Linux in August, the last year. I needed some learning curve but not much. But after setting up everything I need. There is no going back for me. It just works. I don’t even care about Windows.

Everything I need is available except WhatsApp Desktop and OTT Apps which would be better for Offline use cases.

I almost switched every one of the apps I used in windows to FOSS here. Just no hassle. I don’t dual Boot. I have a Windows 10 VM incase if there is something I might really need but I don’t even open it. I just open once or twice a month to update it. Nothing much.

My VM setup is QEMU/KVM (Linux native VM like Hypervisor in Windows). It is just flawless, fast and smoother without any hiccups. If you just have some sufficient RAM.


Linux takes less RAM then Windows, so you don’t even need that. Congratulations on the big move, I hope I make the move soon too!

Surely Linux can make it easy to download apps somehow, like if I want to play a game, download a bioinformatics program…

A major discussion is needed. Apart from the fact, I am abandoning it.

Does this still matter ?

Because Microsoft introduced CoPilot + PC recently and will keep on adding more features in the end privacy does not exist in their software.

What we are creating will be essentially for the average Windows before CoPilot + PC was introduced which will be soon neglected by users and switch to it. I think it’s kind of waste of resources.

Statistically and hypothetically speaking. If 75% percent of windows users are going to switch to it. Then, the remaining 25% will stay on the older one, we could say 10% of them will be looking on our guide.

Windows 10 is still rocking the globe compared to the now Windows 11. We could write the guide for it. But it will be abandoned next year, but not if we recommend users to use Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC supported until 2032.

What we could recommend in the end is security only.

Before proceeding forward, we need to discuss the current state of Windows and the future implications imposed by the company behind it. So, the guide comes out well.


You could say that you can’t obtain the ISO but I did from and verified the hash files from sites apart from those listed by them.

I use it in my VM. I haven’t activated it, I am fine with the watermarks, etc as I don’t use it much. So, I don’t violate the policy as of now. I just didn’t download from the official site. That’s it.

Even if we recommend that there is no Windows store support which needs to be done manually by the user. And comparing with the security features there are some features that can be enabled manually some doesn’t even support it due to hardware issues.

There are major differences and complexities involving in this. I highly doubt if the outcome will be in a good state or not. As said earlier, the OS will be adding things, that essentially eliminates privacy.

P.S. I am open to discussions regarding this but not ready or willing to work on the PR.

It’s annoying but it’s not a big problem imo because it’s configurable. Windows has always been not a privacy-respecting OS cause it’s difficult to configure privacy settings but Copiot+ does not make it worse.

I agree with this. It’s disturbing to see how much emotion-based debate is happening in the privacy community regarding Copilot+.

Currently, Copilot+ doesn’t even support traditional CPUs. Considering the new hardware requirements that came with Windows 11, it’s possible that Copilot+ may never be available for existing CPUs.

If Copilot+ eventually becomes available to all Windows users, it can be turned off, similar to the Inking and Typing Personalization feature, which is the main source of “Windows is a keylogger” claims.

Another recent discussion has been about advertisements in the Start menu. I haven’t personally encountered any, but from my understanding, they promote apps from the Microsoft Store, and this feature can also be easily disabled.

While it’s true that Windows isn’t very privacy-friendly, it seems that few people take the time to thoroughly research what it actually tracks and how.


Here is my analysis:
I agree with @ikelatomig’s overall sentiment, in essence, they say: what is the point of going through the trouble of hardening windows (a pain in the…) if much better alternatives exist, in terms of privacy, environmental friendliness/performance/efficiency and security(?).

However, we need to address the elephant in the room, Windows is the most used OS in the world because it is easy to use and convenient. Hence, we need to find compromises.


  • Find the easiest one click solution to harden Windows, such as installing Enterprise versions or scripts.
  • Find a Linux distribution that addresses the strengths and shortcomings of Windows, importantly, focus should be on a distribution that is easy to use and versatile, in that it users should be able to download common applications like games without issues.

Honestly, to me Linux seems more intuitive then Windows, which is a mess of an OS. So there is potential here.

and I think the Windows guide should manly focus on the latest version OS. Windows 11 23H2/24H2 Home/Pro/Edu/Enterprise on physical machine imo.

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When ltsc?

LTSC is enterprise only. So, focusing on it is kind of pointlesss. If you are purchasing it in a genuine way. You would pay a hefty licence fee.

Users would say, crap, I will just go with Pro. And for LTSC, there is no store support, which most users need as you can’t even install UWP apps manually like apk in android.

Yes, we need recommendations for Windows because tons of people, including many users of this forum (including me), have to use Windows for various reasons and want to improve their privacy and security while doing so.

I do not think having the Windows recommendation being “switch to Linux!” makes sense. Linux is already the top recommendation on PG and shouldl remain that way. But if someone is looking for help with Windows, they’re looking for help with Windows.


Everyday it becomes harder to recommend Windows


I do think we should include some crutial parts of OS in the Knowledge>Operating System part, like browsers, file managers, antivirus and app stores that come with the OS. The whole point of this section is if you choose to use the OS and the crutial attached apps, what should you do. You cannot detach Windows Defender, Microsoft Store, Edge and Edge Webview from Windows without adding attack surface or destabilizing OS. You also cannot detach App Store and Webkit from iOS without adding attack surface or destabilizing OS. Refusing Edge recommendation in Windows Guide while allowing Safari, iCloud and App Store recommendation in iOS Guide is wrong and unfair. I opened a Windows Guide 2024 PR in march because the original PR has no progress in years. I decide to keep the PR closed until Edge recommendation is allowed.


Making recommendations for those that use Windows =/= recommending Windows.


Then we should also make recommendations for Telegram and Whatsapp users?

We should give people better privacy advice to other alternatives, Windows is never marketed as a “privacy” respecting product.

I’m not quite sure what you’re asking for. Unfair to who, Microsoft? It’s not my job to promote their browser/products :person_shrugging:

All browsers on iOS are the same junk because Apple is a control freak of a corporation. On Windows, you can choose to install Tor Browser, Mullvad Browser, Firefox, Brave, etc., and recommending Edge would be the dumbest recommendation that PG has ever made.

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Why is Edge recommendation so important to you? Reading through Edge’s privacy whitepaper shows that it needs a lot of configuration to even get close to being somewhat privacy respecting. Edge gets invasive on-by-default features with updates again and again, so it is a constant battle to keep up with it. The security advantages are mainly gone: JIT-toggle is now available in every Chromium browser and MDAG for Edge is going to be deprecated.

Configuring Edge would need another big guide, which would be very difficult to maintain, because of Edge’s constant changes and bad stance on privacy. For people willing to use Edge and keep up with it, fine, why not. But it is not something to recommend for the average privacy user.

Safari can be made reasonably private, with less adjustments and had some privacy features like state partitioning very early.